Caretaker Steals $1.5 M from Tami Longaberger
Posted in the Columbus Forum
#1 Mar 12, 2013
Ex-caretaker admits to stealing $1.5 million from Tami Longaberger
By Eric Lyttle
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday March 12, 2013 3:10 PM
A Pataskala man pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $1.5 million from Longaberger Co. CEO Tami Longaberger.
Douglas Thompson, 53, was head of the house staff at Longaberger’s $10 million Muskingum County estate near Nashport from 2002 until he was laid off in 2011, said Thompson’s attorney, Kort Gatterdam.
During a financial restructuring ahead of selling the property accountants began to find some “significant problems with the way finances were handled,” said Muskingum County Assistant Prosecutor Ron Welch.
Thompson was arrested on Oct. 31. Detectives confiscated nearly everything from his Headleys Mills Road home, including books, furniture, grills, rugs, wine, a vacuum, even sunglasses.
Welch said Thompson was trusted with cash, checks and Longaberger’s credit card to provide for the operation of the Eschman Meadows Estate, a 200-acre property that remains for sale. Welch said the investigation revealed that Thompson used the estate’s funds to pay his own credit card bills of more than $1 million, to make cash payments to himself for more than $185,000, to write checks to himself for more than $430,000 and accumulate unauthorized charges to Longaberger’s account in excess of $300,000.
Authorities say he used the money for, among other things, home improvements, travel and entertainment, computers and electronics and auto repairs.
Welch said his office is confident that it’s the largest theft in Muskingum County history.
In pleading guilty, Thompson admitted to stealing $1.5 million. A restitution agreement calls for Thompson to give up his house, which Gatterdam said could bring in $50,000 to $75,000 after paying off the mortgage, a Jeep Cherokee and 401(k) accounts worth about $150,000 after early-withdrawal penalties. His other property also will be auctioned off.
A civil suit, filed by Longaberger in conjunction with the criminal case, was settled with Thompson’s guilty plea. It requires restitution of $4.5 million.
Thompson is free on $2 million bail until sentencing. He faces a maximum of eight years in prison on the second-degree felony.
#2 Mar 12, 2013
The problem with these cases is that most people steal the money and then turn around and spend it on stupid things so there's nothing you can take back from them. If someone like me had stolen the money, most of it would be in the bank or in coffee cans somewhere.
#4 Mar 12, 2013
Just had to cut and paste a comment from the Dispatch article that I thought was "spot on" as George would say:
And she dates Bernie Kosar, go figure..... Channeling Charlie Sheen... Winning!!!!!
“Hi-Yo Silver! Away!”
Since: Aug 12
#5 Mar 12, 2013
I'd say that was the smart thing to do. If you have a thief's mind, what's the point of keeping it around where they could take it back?
If you're going to steal, do it all in one big strike and move to a non-extraditable country.
Hugh Victor Thompson III
“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”
Since: Dec 12
#7 Mar 12, 2013
In his arrogance he probably thought he could buy his way out of it. A decade earlier and he might have pulled it off. Not in 2008, though.
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